The Index tracks the number of properties under contract nationwide and by region. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said low housing inventory is a factor shaping the market nationwide. Generally speaking fewer listings lead to greater buyer competition for fewer available properties, higher prices, shorter days-on-market and increased sales-to-list-price ratios.
“Buyer interest remains strong but fewer home listings mean fewer contract signing opportunities,” Yun said. “We’ve been seeing a steady decline in the level of housing inventory, which is most pronounced in the lower price ranges popular with first-time buyers and investors.”
- Annually: contracts increased 9.5% over June 2011
- Monthly: contracts dropped 1.4% from May to June
- Northeast - pending home sales fell 7.6% in June but remain 12.2% higher than a year ago
- Midwest - the index slipped 0.4% in June but is 17.3% above June 2011
- South - declined 2.0% in June but are 8.8% above a year earlier
- West - the index rose 2.6% in June and is 3.0% higher than June 2011
The Pending Home Sales Index has continued to show a steady increase in contracts activity in 2012.
- May 2012 - contracts rose 13.3% over May 2011
- April 2012 - contracts increased 14.4% over April 2011
- March 2012 - a rise of 12.8% was reported over March 2011
- February 2012 - contracts jumped 9.2% over February 2011
- January 2012 - rose 8% over January 2011
The increase in pending home sales as the summer housing market is underway indicates buyers are becoming more motivated as mortgage rates drop and sectors of the economy slowly show signs of improvement.
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